Oregon Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley called Friday for
the U.S. Department of Transportation to require more disclosure of oil
train routes to first responders around the country, saying an emergency
order this week didn’t go far enough.
On Wednesday, the
Department of Transportation issued an order requiring railroads
carrying more than 1 million gallons of highly flammable North Dakota
oil in a single train – about 35 tank cars – to tell state authorities
how many trains they expect to move weekly through each county.
Railroads also must disclose the routes and notify the state before
making significant changes to shipment volumes or frequencies.
the order has a limited impact in Oregon because it only applies to
trains carrying oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region, not other
Citing The Oregonian’s reporting on Union Pacific’s plans to increasingly move mile-long trains
of crude oil from Utah on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge
-- shipments the order doesn’t cover -- the senators said all oil trains
should have to report their routes, volumes and frequencies.
Railroads claim national security in keeping oil train routes secret, but feds say not so